278,254 Pages

Question book-new.svg

This article does not contain any citations or references. Please improve this article by adding a reference. For information about how to add references, see Template:Citation.


Leading seaman (LS or L/S) is a junior non-commissioned rank or rate in navies, particularly those of the Commonwealth. When it is used by NATO nations, leading seaman has the rank code of OR-4. It is often equivalent to the army and air force rank of corporal and some navies use corporal rather than leading seaman. A leading seaman equivalent in the United States Armed Forces is that of an E6.

The rank is used in the navies of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, India, Ireland, Namibia, Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.

Australia[edit | edit source]

The badge in the Royal Australian Navy is the fouled anchor over the word "Australia", worn on the shoulders, or the fouled anchor worn on the left sleeve, depending on what uniform is worn at the time. It is senior to able seaman but junior to petty officer. Leading seaman or leading hand, which it is also known as, is the equivalent of corporal in the Royal Australian Air Force and the Australian Army. Leading seamen are addressed as "leader", and informally known as "kellicks" from the killick anchor which is the symbol of their rank.

Canada[edit | edit source]

In the Royal Canadian Navy, leading seaman' (LS) is senior to the rank of able seaman, and junior to master seaman (which is actually an appointment of leading seaman). Its Army and Air Force equivalent is corporal and it is part of the cadre of junior non-commissioned officers.

Leading seamen are generally initially addressed as "Leading Seaman Smith", and thereafter as "Leading Seaman". The same rank title is used for female members. The slang term for the rank is "killick", as in the Royal Navy. The term is still used even though the old-style insignia of a fouled anchor is no longer used for this rank in the RCN.

Leading seamen generally mess and billet with other seamen and their army and air force equivalents: privates, corporals, and master corporals. Their mess on naval bases or installations is generally named the "junior ranks mess".

United Kingdom[edit | edit source]

The rate of leading seaman, leading hand or leading rating in the Royal Navy is senior to able seaman and junior to petty officer. It is equivalent to corporal in the other services. The badge is the fouled anchor (an anchor with a length of rope twisted around it), worn on the upper arm in formal uniform and on the shoulder slides in working dress.

Specialists use the word "leading" before their speciality (for example, leading writer, leading cook, leading regulator). A leading rating is often called a "killick", referring to the rank insignia of a fouled anchor.

See also[edit | edit source]

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.